The CoinNews Saturday eNewsletter and the short post Sunday morning included information about the Sunday night 60 Minutes news segment titled, Should We Make Cents?
Morley Safer reports on how the penny and nickel are worth less than the U.S. government cost to manufacture them – the penny almost two cents and the nickel almost a dime.
The largest portion of the segment, as the 60 Minutes title suggests, revolves around the various points of view on whether the government should stop making Lincoln pennies.
Why is the manufacturing cost of the 1-cent penny and 5-cent nickel up so much? United States Mint Director Ed Moy summed it up:
“You know, coins are made out of metal. And worldwide demand for copper, nickel and zinc have dramatically increased over the last three years. That’s what’s primarily driving up the cost of making the penny and nickel."
If you read CoinNews avidly, there was nothing really "new" to learn in the news segment. However, watching a 60 Minutes news report with interviews is much more intriguing than any print medium. And there are few that can report better than members of 60 Minutes.
The producer, David Browning, and Morely Safer did an excellent job of covering the issues in an interesting and thorough manner within the short time frame. I highly recommend watching the news segment.
Fortunately, if you missed the segment Sunday night, you can now watch it online right here (as well as another embedded video showing how pennies are made).
60 Minutes video: Should We Make Cents?
60 Minutes video: How Pennies Are Made
Quick Lincoln Penny Facts:
- A penny contain 2.5% copper with the remaining zinc
- It costs approximately 1.7 cents to manufacture a single penny
- To make $80 million pennies, the U.S. Mint spends about $134 million
- The U.S. Mint reported 364 million pennies were produced in just January of 2008
- More than 8 billion Lincoln pennies were produced in 2007
- Adjusted for inflation, an item bought for a penny in 1913 would cost $.21 in 2007
- Newly designed pennies will be released in 2009, commemorating Lincoln’s 200 birthday